On Tuesday night, after New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay was heavily criticized for her remarks in which she stated that seeing “dozens of American flags” was “disturbing” and that “tens of millions of Trump voters” “see ‘American-ness’ as the same as one with ‘whiteness,’” the Times defended her by claiming her words were taken out of context, prompting an incendiary reaction on social media.
The Times tweeted, “New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay’s comments on MSNBC have been irresponsibly taken out of context. Her argument was that Trump and many of his supporters have politicized the American flag. The attacks on her today are ill-informed and grounded in bad faith.”
New York Times editorial board member Mara Gay’s comments on MSNBC have been irresponsibly taken out of context. Her argument was that Trump and many of his supporters have politicized the American flag. The attacks on her today are ill-informed and grounded in bad-faith.
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) June 8, 2021
The Times was blasted on social media. Former Fox News anchor and current podcast host Megyn Kelly: “Spin away — we heard her loud and clear.”
Spin away – we heard her loud and clear.
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 8, 2021
Newsbusters’ Curtis Houck added, “I see you guys and gals are going with the ‘tweet through it strategy.’ Bold move!”
I see you guys and gals are going with the “tweet through it strategy.” Bold move! pic.twitter.com/zmeDYTRtiT
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 9, 2021
Actor Nick Searcy: “Wrong. She hates the country, and that is why she works for you.”
— Nick Searcy, INSURRECTIONAL FILM & TELEVISION STAR (@yesnicksearcy) June 9, 2021
Fox News host Laura Ingraham: “She’s disturbed by seeing American flags. What exactly was taken out of context? The word ‘American’? Or the word ‘flags’? Air ball.”
She’s disturbed by seeing American flags. What exactly was taken out of context? The word “American”? Or the word “flags”? Air ball. https://t.co/ZQ3gu7EKbm
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) June 9, 2021
“Dilbert” creator Scott Adams: “’Politicized the American flag’ is a strange way to describe patriotism.”
“Politicized the American flag” is a strange way to describe patriotism. https://t.co/Ybk48Z1NCR
— Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) June 9, 2021
Radio host Erick Erickson: “No no, we can all see the clip for ourselves and the left is out defending her focus on giant American flags from trucks. She really doesn’t like people who fly the flag and thinks they are all Trump supporters or racists or both.”
No no, we can all see the clip for ourselves and the left is out defending her focus on giant American flags from trucks. She really doesn’t like people who fly the flag and thinks they are all Trump supporters or racists or both. https://t.co/TCFt0SeUTP
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 9, 2021
Radio host Mark Davis: “No sale. #MaraGay is a political bigot, twisting love of country into some sinister white supremacist xenophobia. Want to see politicization of the American flag? Revisit anthem kneeling, which I’m guessing Ms. Gay thought was swell.”
No sale. #MaraGay is a political bigot, twisting love of country into some sinister white supremacist xenophobia. Want to see politicization of the American flag? Revisit anthem kneeling, which I’m guessing Ms Gay thought was swell.
— Mark Davis (@MarkDavis) June 9, 2021
Journalist/author Glenn Greenwald: “This is such a lie. The clip was originally posted vy @tomelliott and he purposely posted the entire clip of Maya Gay’s comments from the first word to the last: 2 minutes, 34 seconds of it. It’s fine to agree with what she said but nobody distorted anything.”
LOL. This is such a lie. The clip was originally posted by @tomselliott and he purposely posted the entire clip of Maya Gay’s comments from the first word to the last: 2 minutes, 34 seconds of it. It’s fine to agree with what she said but nobody distorted anything. https://t.co/cVDiRMPwdn
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 9, 2021
Host Mika Brzezinski prompted Gay’s remarks by surmising that a commission looking into the events of January 6 would be vital, then segued into calling former President Trump “a threat to our democracy to this moment.” She stated:
Post-Trump, there needs to be an investigation that looks into how we got here, and that’s why the January 6 commission would have been so important or looking into the events that led up to January 6, Mara Gay. Because I’m not just talking about the week before, I’m talking about the months before, and even the years before. And it may be that the one way that perhaps there can be an explanation to the American people who were hornswoggled or misled in any way by this man who is a threat to our democracy to this moment.
Gay responded, “I think this is another area where Democrats really need to get serious about talking about what this threat is. I think you said it really well, Joe, a minute ago, where you talked about the need to stop being surprised by all of this and start taking it seriously.”
Gay then posited that Democrats should simply ignore the GOP and proceed on their own: “You know, it’s really concerning to me that the Democrats haven’t just gone ahead at this point and said, ‘We’re doing this on our own’ in terms of getting a commission together to explain to the American people how we allowed the insurrection to take place in the Capitol. I think that really needs to move forward swiftly.”
Then Gay turned to her position that many Americans refuse to “share the democracy with others” because they see “American-ness” as the same as “whiteness”:
You know, the reality is here that we have a large percentage of the American population — I don’t know how big it is, but we have tens of millions of Trump voters who continue to believe that their rights as citizens are under threat by simple virtue of having to share the democracy with others. I think that as long as they see “American-ness” as the same as one with “whiteness,” this is going to continue. We have to figure out how to get every American a place at the table in this democracy but how to separate “American-ness,” America, from “whiteness.” Until we can confront that and talk about that, this is really going to continue.
Gay then described being “disturb[ed]” when she saw American flags being flown by what she believed to be Trump supporters:
I was on Long Island this weekend visiting a really dear friend. I was really disturbed; I saw dozens and dozens of pick-up trucks with explicatives (sic) against Joe Biden on the back of them; Trump flags, and in some cases just dozens of American flags, which is also just disturbing, because essentially the message was clear. It was, “This is my country. This is not your country. I won this.”
And so until we’re ready to have that conversation, this is going to continue. What really is concerning to me as well is it’s not just Democrats in Congress; I think there’s a large percentage of Americans, even from my colleagues in journalism who are invested in some way in pretending that this isn’t the threat that it is. That is the real concern, because the Trump voters who are not going to get on board with democracy, they’re a minority; you can marginalize them long-term. But if we don’t take the threat seriously, then I think we’re really all in bad shape.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 8, 2021
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